Sunnis burn Shiite mosque, raising sectarian fears in Syria
BEIRUT - ReutersA video posted on the Internet shows Sunni Muslim rebels burning a Shi’ite mosque in north Syria, a sign that the country’s civil war is spiraling into a sectarian conflict.
Dozens of fighters dressed in camouflage gear with Sunni-style beards are shown in the footage congratulating and kissing each other outside the burning Shiite ‘Husseiniya’ mosque. They also burned flags they said were Shiite. A fighter holding a rifle says the rebel group is destroying the “dens of the Shi’ites and Rafida,” a derogatory term meaning “deserters,” which is used against Shiites.
Minority groups fear an Islamist takeover and many Christians, Shiites and Kurds are reluctant to support an armed revolt that included several Sunni extremist rebel units.